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5 Must-See Concerts in Metro Phoenix This Week, 5/19 - 5/22

Chris Karns, world-class DJ, plays Yucca Tap Room Thursday night.
Chris Karns, world-class DJ, plays Yucca Tap Room Thursday night.

Perhaps you stepped outside this morning and started sweating. Summer is coming, reverse Game of Thrones-style, and as the temperature starts ratcheting up, relief from the heat will come in smaller and smaller windows each day. That said, it's still quite pleasant at night, and you can catch anything from British garage rock to transgender-fronted punk to world-class DJs this week in Phoenix. Life ain't bad -- yet.

You can always check out many more events over at our comprehensive concert listings.

Holly Golightly - Rips Ales & Cocktails - Monday, May 19

If there is any such thing as garage rock royalty, Holly Golightly certainly must be a member. Lo-fi before there was such a thing, and cool from the get-go, Ms. Golightly visits Phoenix for the very first time with her backing band, The Brokeoffs (which is really just one guy, Holly's partner, Lawyer Dave). Golightly first made a name for herself as part of Thee Headcoatees, which were connected at the hip to Billy Childish's Thee Headcoats during the '90s. Over the years, the British songwriter has been prolific in her output of seven-inch singles, full-length records, and multiple collaborations, and her sound has always been raw, yet rootsy, with garage rock overtones and fantastic lyrics that will make you laugh and cringe at the same time. This show will charm the tapered pants off of folks who enjoy using terms like "alt-country" or "the digital Delta," and there may not be a hipper show in Phoenix this heat season, let alone May. --Tom Reardon   Dry River Yacht Club, Haymarket Squares - Crescent Ballroom - Tuesday, May 20

This show isn't just an opportunity to see two fantastic local bands, Gyspy crooners Dry River Yacht Club and radical folkies Haymarket Squares. It's also a fundraiser put on on by Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona. Arizona has some of the most restrictive abortion laws in the country. If you're looking for an excuse to support women's health in the state while seeing some great music, you can't do much better than this. --David Accomazzo   Against Me! - Nile Theater - Wednesday, May 21

Against Me!'s latest album, Transgender Dysphoria Blues, may be one of the most important records of the decade. We're deep in a cultural war for gay and women's rights, but we've barely scratched the surface regarding transgender issues. The coming out of someone in the public eye still qualifies as news, yet we rarely hear about folks in the process of a gender transition. So when Against Me! singer Tom Gabel became Laura Jane Grace in 2012, she did more than make a public announcement. She also wrote an incredible, moving album about the experience. And people took notice. --Melissa Fossum   Blunt Club - Yucca Tap Room - Thursday, May 22

The Blunt Club has been the Valley's longest-running club event and a premier showcase since 2003 for dope DJs, talented urban artists, and local and national underground and alternative hip-hop artists. This night is a celebration of Blunt Club's 12th anniversary, and organizers have a packed lineup for the occasion, including Colorado's incredible Chris Karns, formerly known as DJ Vajra, 2011 DMC World Champion (which means he's one of the best DJs in the world). If you have any appreciation whatsover for the art of turntablism, you have to make it to Yucca Thursday night. Karns will melt your freaking face off. --Up on the Sun   Ice Balloons, Babes - Tempe Tavern - Thursday, May 22

It's kind of fuzzy, it's kind of droney, kind of trippy, and the lead singer is only ever seen performing in a knitted fly mask- which makes him look like some sort of insect/human hybrid. All this and more has made Ice Balloons one of the most buzzed about bands of bands of the last year. --Vanessa Quilantan

Find any show in Metro Phoenix via our extensive online concert calendar.

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